June 19, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Last week we took a look at what former Mizzou baseball standouts are doing in the major leagues and this week, we will look at updated numbers for the four current big leaguers and a fifth - Kyle Gibson - that could be called up any day now.
Max Scherzer - SP - Detroit Tigers
Scherzer, the 2005 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and member of the 2005 Team USA squad, has blossomed into one of the top pitchers in the major leagues in 2013. Now in his fourth season with the Tigers after coming up through the Diamondbacks organization, Scherzer is tied for first in the Majors in wins and winning percentage (10-0), second in strikeouts (116), fourth in WHIP (0.91), and 10 of his 14 starts have been quality starts (pitching six innings and allowing no more than three earned runs). In fact, he owns a 10.84 strikeouts per nine inning ratio this season and has allowed just 64 hits in 96.1 innings. He has won four of his last five starts and is coming off of a start against the Baltimore Orioles in which he earned his 10th win and struck out 10. He has reached double-digit strikeouts in five of his 14 starts this season, highlighted by a 12-strikeout performance in 8.0 innings at Seattle on April 17.
Scherzer's strong performance so far in 2013 makes him a front runner to start the All-Star Game and win his first Cy Young. Should Scherzer sustain his first half success, then he could become the first Mizzou pitcher to start an All-Star game and win a Cy Young.
Ian Kinsler - INF - Texas Rangers
Kinsler was just activated from the disabled list on June 15. Since being activated, he has just three hits in four games, but has scored two runs and collected three hits and two walks while striking out once. As he gets back into the groove of things, look for Kinsler to heat up and lead off for the potent Rangers offense. In the 44 games before his injury, Kinsler was batting .302 with seven homers and 11 doubles while driving in 20 runs and scoring 24 as one of the Rangers' top run-producers. The .302 average was a welcome sign to Rangers fans as Kinsler had not hit over .300 in a season since 2008 when he hit a career-best .319 and his power numbers were on pace for his third 30-homer season before the injury. With seven big flies in 40 games, it is not a stretch to think that 30 homers is still a legit possibility. In fact, he was slugging .500 before he got hurt, which is on pace to be the second-best clip of his eight-year major league career. Despite batting from the right side, Kinsler continues to crush right-handed pitching this season hitting .311 and slugging .546 with all seven of his homers and seven of his 11 doubles. Despite the injury, Kinsler could still earn his fourth All-Star appearance this year, as he's tied for eighth in the AL in runs scored (26), fourth in home runs (7), and seventh in RBIs (22). He would be fourth in batting average with a .294 clip if he had enough at-bats. A strong finish to the first half and a little help from the fans could sneak Kinsler into the All-Star game. Not bad for a guy who lost a month to injury.
Aaron Crow - RP - Kansas City Royals
The former first-round draft pick has developed into one of the Royals' top relievers this season as he ranks 11th in the Majors in holds with 12 holds in 26 appearances. Crow has pitched 21 innings and has a 3.86 ERA with 17 strikeouts and a save. Despite the 3.86 ERA this season, he has really only been roughed up once this season as the St. Louis Cardinals tagged him for four earned runs in 0.2 innings in a 5-3 loss on May 29. Since the outing against the Cardinals, Crow has given up only one earned run in seven appearances and earned the win on June 17 against the Indians, the same day that Scherzer recorded his 10th win of the season. Crow has struck out 147 batters in 147.2 innings in his career.
Nick Tepesch - SP - Texas Rangers
The newest of the Tiger big leaguers, Tepesch is putting up impressive numbers after winning the No. 5 spot in the Rangers' rotation in spring training. On the season, he owns a 4.84 ERA and has 50 strikeouts while compiling a 3-6 record in 13 starts this season. He had one of the best debuts in Rangers history as he was first Texas Ranger to pitch into the eighth inning of his major league debut since fellow Mizzou alum John Dettmer did so in his debut back in 1994. Also, the Mizzou theme for the night was set on the first out of the game as Tepesch retired Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings on a liner to former Mizzou infielder>Ian Kinsler at second base. Tepesch is coming off of a rough start against Oakland in which he gave up six earned runs in 3.2 innings.
Although Kyle Gibson is not yet in the big leagues, it is worth it to update what the former first-rounder is doing as he could be called up to join the Twins any day now as he continues to deal in AAA. Below is a look at what he has done.
Kyle Gibson - SP - Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins)
Gibson continues to deal as the ace of the Red Wing staff with a 3.16 ERA and six wins in 14 starts this season. In his last five starts, he has shown flashes of brilliance, going 3-0 including an eight inning performance on May 25 in which he struck out 7 batters. While Gibson has shown dominance this season, he has also struggled with his control, including a five walk performance on June 9. Don't worry though, control problems are side-effect from the Tommy John surgery recovery process. Look for a strong second half performance from Gibson and possibly a call-up in the near future.
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